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Overall Rating

Awesome: 12.39%
Worth A Look40.71%
Average: 25.66%
Pretty Bad: 17.7%
Total Crap: 3.54%

7 reviews, 71 user ratings

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Italian Job, The (2003)
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by EricDSnider

"It's a movie, all right. Yep, look at it. It's a movie."
4 stars

Like most movies, "The Italian Job" is about an aging criminal who plans One Last Job before retirement, a very difficult job that will make him ridiculously wealthy. And, like 75 percent of all films ever made, it features a normal, handsome man leading a strange crew of criminals who each have different areas of expertise and corresponding nicknames, e.g., the man who can only hear out of his left ear is called Left Ear. Additionally, much like 2/3 of all the movies Hollywood has ever produced, it has a woman who is brought into the group whom some members are suspicious of, until she demonstrates she can hold her own with the most cunning of male thieves.

Another thing "The Italian Job" has in common with the majority of films released in the United States is that it dots its I's and crosses its T's. It is perfunctorily satisfying, ensuring those who deserve punishment receive it, and those who are good and noble make off with the booty. (Of course, right and wrong are all relative here, since even the "good guys" are thieves to the tune of $35 million, but you get the idea.) It's enjoyable to watch, but not especially compelling.

It begins with the titular heist, in which $35 million in gold bars is stolen from a safe in Venice. The team is led by grandfatherly John Bridger (Donald Sutherland), and his protege, Charlie Croker (Mark Wahlberg). Carrying out their plans are computer expert Lyle aka Napster (Seth Green), explosives whiz Left Ear (Mos Def, playing a character who is mostly deaf) and getaway driver Handsome Rob (Jason Statham).

They are also aided by Steve (Edward Norton), who is too nondescript to get a nickname, and who you can tell is going to turn on the rest of the crew soon because he serves no distinct function within the group. And sure enough, once the gold is safe, he kills John, thinks he has killed the others, and hightails it to Los Angeles, where a man with $35 million can blend in with the scenery.

Cut to a year later, when the very not-dead crew members reassemble to steal the money back, this time with the help of John's daughter Stella (Charlize Theron), who has taken her father's safe-cracking skills and put them to legitimate work, opening safes for the police when they have subpoenas. Still, in the interest of avenging her father's death, she will enter the world of thievery and bust into Steve's safe.

An elaborate plan develops, then is retooled, then is adjusted some more. I wish it had taken a bit less time to get where it was going. The eventual outcome is more or less inevitable; it's the mechanism of the caper that we enjoy, not seeing the characters mill around waiting for the moment to arrive.

This is the sort of movie where everything is a setup for something else. For example, Stella's fondness for modern technology as an aid in safe-cracking is mentioned; surely this means that at some point, she will have to open a safe manually, like her dad used to do.

And so it's a generally OK kind of film, with a few funny lines, a couple cool moments of car-chase excitement, and a heapin' helpin' of comeuppance. It was painted by the numbers, but it used the right colors.

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originally posted: 06/04/03 17:24:47
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User Comments

3/25/18 morris campbell not bad but nothing special 4 stars
2/20/11 Ark Good stuff! 4 stars
3/29/10 Monday Morning They should have used Town Cars, not Mini-Coopers. 2 stars
2/18/08 Pamela White great plot and mini cooper heaven 5 stars
3/20/07 Stanley Thai A solid thriller. 3 stars
2/18/07 Nick Maday I've seen it a few times, and I enjoy it, but I can never remember it. 3 stars
1/05/07 Watch This Movie. Entertaining even after you watch it a few times. 4 stars
9/28/06 Indrid Cold An amiable but forgettable Ocean's Eleven-style heist movie. 3 stars
3/30/06 Stephanie Francis i loving it because it my favorite miovie ever 5 stars
3/28/06 Brian Meyer If you can't write a good "HEIST" movie... remake a classic. OR NOT!!! 3 stars
1/19/06 R.W.Welch Less inspired than the original but generally entertaining. 4 stars
1/15/06 tatum Slightly better than the original 4 stars
1/03/06 Anthony Feor The ride at Canada's Wonderland was better 3 stars
12/06/05 J.D. Pittman III It was slick. Their driving skills were almost equal to mine. 4 stars
11/27/05 Quigley better than ocean's eleven by a long shot. well acted, funny, and really cool. 5 stars
8/25/05 tony Awsome.No question about it! 5 stars
8/19/05 ES blah, meh, who cares= a movie no one will adore 2 stars
7/03/05 Ronin Typical Hollywood product. Nicely packaged piece of crap. Charlize Theron is great though. 3 stars
6/14/05 Agent Sands The heists are great, but I didn't care for much else. GREAT technical filmmaking! 4 stars
4/03/05 Phil M. Aficionado Ho hum. I guess I should skip contrived action flicks that are ridiculous on their face 3 stars
3/07/05 Charlie Good, the original is definitely better, but the remake still rocks! 4 stars
2/21/05 Captain Craig Nothing original here, but entertaining anyway 4 stars
1/14/05 Tjalda L. Schiel Wahlberg is soooo dull. Mini Coopers are soooo hot! 3 stars
12/30/04 Katie Evridge Great action movie 5 stars
12/28/04 efrain Ho-Hum 3 stars
9/05/04 McReady In Antartica Not great, not bad either, Stella with her ponytail is bueatiful, cool chases 3 stars
7/26/04 Melissa Much better than I expected. Kept me riveted to the couch! 4 stars
5/02/04 Monster W. Kung So-so heist movie. Wahlberg has no charisma, as usual. 3 stars
4/27/04 el yosharto napster is really fucking hot!i loves him so iz handsome rob n charlie nice abs stella sux! 5 stars
3/05/04 max It made me want a mini. Thats bout it. 2 stars
3/04/04 Agent Sands Changed my mind. Original is better. This is 2 serious for its own good sometimes. 4 stars
2/08/04 homeburger88 Stella Bridger is so hott in this movie 5 stars
12/23/03 HorrorScribbler Mark steals gold, Seth and Mos Def steal movie 4 stars
12/13/03 Agent Sands A little better than the original. The heists are brilliant. Good cast & music. 4 stars
11/14/03 snowconehead Not inventive or clever, but decent enough to watch 3 stars
11/07/03 Capt' Fox Typical action/caper flick. Ok time waster - average movie. 3 stars
10/24/03 ILLEGALLY BLONDE Charlize Theron finally shows talent, even if by trying TOO hard not to be Ashley Judd. 4 stars
10/23/03 JJ This very entertaining caper movie is really worth watching with a good plot and action! 4 stars
10/15/03 Ronald A Weiss If you forget what happened in 1969, this is ok 4 stars
10/06/03 Kitty Great the 1st time round, okay the 2nd time round but the 3rd time was like "Kill me now.." 3 stars
9/25/03 Zaharin Hamid aka The Movie Samseng I love this movie. Mark Wahlberg is wicked! A brillant all-star cast. 5 stars
9/21/03 Jonathan Nicholas Shit, If it wasnt called the italian job, you wouldnt see a simularity to original. 1 stars
9/06/03 alien assassin Better than most remakes. 4 stars
9/01/03 marzio nothing special, but at least not boring 3 stars
8/28/03 Mr. Hat Definitely 1 of the best heist movies ever. And I watch lots. All cast & crew R excellent!! 5 stars
8/19/03 Robert Beveridge seriously underwhelming 2 stars
8/18/03 Boris Great fun! Does everything have to be rocket science, people? 5 stars
8/15/03 Paul Dempsey This job should put Marky Mark on the unemployed list for good! 1 stars
8/15/03 JJ from da block Italian job blows...and the mini cooper is a honda civic station wagon from yesteryear 1 stars
7/10/03 Joe Charlize would do a better job with my 8" hammer in her ass. 2 stars
7/09/03 yot kim not very good 1 stars
7/09/03 6th Sense Ho-hum heist movie, been there, done that. . . 3 stars
7/04/03 Jake Awsome movie, video game is even better 5 stars
6/27/03 toneely This film is a great litle escape!! I loved it!! 5 stars
6/18/03 Fonq35 go watch the fucking original 2 stars
6/16/03 Andrew Carden Theron Is Great, but She Cannot Save This Inept Film... 2 stars
6/15/03 Benjamin Lesbian Thoroughly enjoyable heist film. Not as clever as Ocean's 11, but still worth your cash. 4 stars
6/14/03 Mini-Cab This here's a story about the Mini Cooper, the car chases are really super duper... 4 stars
6/14/03 Jax Sweet. I don't know. My boyfriend thought it was okay, too. 4 stars
6/11/03 FLiK was better than 2 fast 2 furious... 4 stars
6/10/03 F. Gary Gray To Scott Weinberg: bear in mind that the guy who made this also did A Man Apart 2 stars
6/09/03 MicBang Good flick 4 stars
6/06/03 your worse goddamn nightmare it was all fluff and fireworks, but entertaining at the least 3 stars
6/05/03 vagile no surprises but good fun 4 stars
6/04/03 Jack Bourbon Nice finish to Norton's slimy character. Better flick than expected. 4 stars
6/01/03 malcolm well-acted, nice characters in spite of being a summer popcorn film 4 stars
6/01/03 ajay if you're going *for* Charlize, then don't. It's a good heist movie though. 4 stars
6/01/03 37!!!!! I like car chases! I like Charlize Theron! I like this movie...good summer fun! 5 stars
6/01/03 mee good 4 stars
6/01/03 maximus probably worth a look. nothing we haven't seen before but entertaining enough 4 stars
5/26/03 Greg Edmiston Just saw a sneak peak.... it was fucking insane! A- 5 stars
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  30-May-2003 (PG-13)



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